Running Tip of the Month: Motivation

Welcome December!! I cannot believe it is already the start to a new month and the last one of 2014. Though the year is flying by it is time for Coach Mar’s “Running Tip of the Month” and for December it is all about Motivation. Coach Mar December

As a runner the winter months typically bring about the off season. Much of our early spring and summer mornings culminate into fall goal races. For quite a few winter doesn’t mean the running stops. There are Turkey Trots, Jingle Runs and Commitment Day races to be had. And while these events are often done in the spirit of the season or for fun, on the other side of winter there lies a fresh set of running goals. 

Staying motivated during the shorter days, colder weather, stormy conditions and icy roads can be difficult. For this month’s running tip here are a few ways to get and stay motivated to run in the winter (and while my focus in this monthly series is running, these can be applied directly or indirectly to fitness in general.)

Sign up for a spring race. That is, if you haven’t already!  I am scheduled to run Shamrock in Virginia Beach in March with my 12 week training plan starting at the end of December. Having this race scheduled and confirmed with a sub-2 hour goal attached will keep me focused to get my training runs in on those days when snuggling up on the couch with a hot cup of coffee and a fleece blanket are most appealing.

Don’t dread the treadmill. I know people refer to it as the “dreadmill” but I’m not one of them. My preference is always the outdoors but if that isn’t feasible or I don’t want to deal with a million layers, I have no  problem hopping on the treadmill. If you change your mindset a bit running on it won’t seem so daunting. Download a podcast, watch a TV show, movie, or comedy special to break up the stationary effect of running.

Buy something pretty. Just me? Ok… I always treat myself in the winter by investing in one nice cold gear item. Last year I bought a new pair of Under Armour fleece lined tights – perfect for staying warm and dry on those especially crispy days. Places like Target, Old Navy and Gap always have nice and reasonably priced cold weather gear too. For me, anything with thumb holes is an automatic favorite. 😉 Under Armour tights

Set a small goal. Has your big goal race come and gone? There are other running and fitness related goals you can set to keep you going so use this time to try something new. Always wanted to dress up in jingle bells and don a Santa hat? Sign up for a themed race! Want to get better at yoga? Winter is perfect for keeping warm with hot yoga! Runners World currently has a Run Streak challenge going on. The possibilities here are really endless.

Put your workouts on the calendar. Since signing up with ClassPass I will sometimes schedule 2-3 workouts in advance to ensure I get into a limited enrollment class. I place them on my Outlook calendar so I don’t forget. My aforementioned training plan for Shamrock is already listed on my schedule.

Join a running club. I did this a year ago when training for a March marathon. Having other people going through the same experience with me  (namely dressing up and running 2+ hours in -8 degree weather) was such a huge benefit. We could support, celebrate, and commiserate with each other. The social aspect is also immeasurable!


Who has a spring race on the calendar already? What are some of your upcoming running goals? What do you think of thumb holes? 🙂 

36 thoughts on “Running Tip of the Month: Motivation

  1. Great tips! I already signed up for my spring race (RnR USA Half) and joined a training group (back to Montgomery County road runners). Also, I’ve been watching the Gilmore Girls on netflix during my treadmill runs and it definitely helps 🙂 I love that you’re doing a running group, I’m going to go check it out.
    Chaitali recently posted…Weekly ReviewMy Profile

  2. Thumb holes, yes! The only race for sure on my docket for spring is a women’s sprint triathlon. I won a guaranteed entry from volunteering last year so I’ve gotta do it again this year!

    Still trying to figure out my running goals. I’m thinking about maybe one race per month? Possibly a half marathon for the first time since 2011? Hmmmm….
    Katie@Run Wild in Alaska recently posted…A Lake All To Myself: Weekly RecapMy Profile

  3. Well, my big spring race is Paris, and I actually love the treadmill. Nothing that a good movie can’t get me through. As for thumbholes, what did we do before them? I was at Lululemon the other day trying on this AWESOME running jacket. I put it on, went to put my thumbs in the holes and there were NONE!! I couldn’t believe it. You better believe I put that thing back on the rack! Great tips!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…I Moustache you some questionsMy Profile

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